iPhone 5 May Come With NFC Chips
August 27, 2012

Images Show Possible NFC Chip On iPhone 5

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

I've been typing the alleged list of features for the next iPhone so many times that to say it feels redundant would be the understatement of the year. For those not keeping score at home, here´s the rundown.

The next Apple smartphone will almost certainly boast a 4-ish-inch screen, make use of a new, cutting edge display using in-cell technology, connect to 4G LTE towers and have a faster processor. This miracle phone is also expected to be the first Apple device to make the switch from the wide, 30-pin connector to the modest 9-pin connector.

Yes, it´s likely we know more about this phone in the days leading up to a possible launch (which has also yet to be announced by Apple) than we have in years past. With so much information about this unreleased device, it´s easy to mistake it as an existing, very real thing. I can tell you from experience, however, that no matter how much money I´ve been throwing at my computer screen, one of these new iPhones has yet to show up at my door.

Stupid Apple.

To make the pot even sweeter, today, a new batch of “leaked photos” show a new iPhone, fully assembled, with a mysterious part attached.

Apple.pro has posted these images early today of an iPhone completely assembled, but one chip at the top of the device has many scratching their heads.

For many, this new part – which could make its debut on the new iPhone – is an NFC chip, which could mean Apple is finally ready to make the leap into mobile payments.

There are a few reasons to assume this little square chip means Apple will begin using NFC in their phones.

For starters, Macotakara.jp is claiming this part is an NFC chip, saying while the location (just next to the iSight camera) is a bit unexpected, there are holes with which to run wires from this chip to the rest of the internal parts of the phone.

Apple has also applied for, and won, several NFC patents in years past. For example, Apple was awarded one NFC patent late last month.

In this particular patent, NFC-equipped iPhones were being used to control other NFC devices, such as an Apple TV, sound system or video game system.

In June, 9to5mac.com revealed new iPhone prototypes that were using the NFC chips and new antennas, and also pointed out that an earlier, March patent filing shows an iPhone NFC chip at the top, right next to the iSight camera.

Add this to the patent Apple won which covers “iWallet” technologies, such as storing credit card information, and the fact that references to NFC technology has been found in hardware dumps from these aforementioned prototypes, and it´s pretty hard to believe NFC won´t be in the next iPhone.

The addition of NFC doesn´t necessarily confirm an upcoming mobile payment system. This technology can also be used in the way detailed in the July patent; simply transferring data from one device to another. Given Apple´s notorious and excruciating knack of waiting to implement new features and technologies, they could be waiting for another version of the iPhone to finally roll out mobile payments.

I´m mostly playing devil´s advocate with that argument, of course. With these alleged puzzle pieces in place, especially considering Apple´s upcoming Passbook app, it certainly seems as if Apple is ready to take over the mobile payment world.